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From Saudi, for China — support for 'deradicalisation efforts' in exchange of refined bilateral ties

RiyadhEdited By: Mukul SharmaUpdated: Dec 09, 2022, 01:43 PM IST
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Photograph:(Reuters)

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Chinese President Xi Jinping promised an expanded oil trade with Saudi Arabia. Riyadh affirmed support for Beijing's 'One China Policy' as well as its "measures and efforts for deradicalisation", reflecting China's continued diplomatic overdrive to ward off criticism from its alleged human rights abuses against ethnic minorities in Tibet and Xinjiang. 

Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit to Saudi Arabia is yielding significant geopolitical results. While Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman acknowledged China as his country's comprehensive strategic partner in the middle-east, Beijing said that it is willing to expand oil trade with Riyadh. The rise in oil trade will begin in consonance with the upgradation of bilateral ties and focus on China-Saudi bilateralism in two Gulf-oriented multilateral summits that Beijing will host next year. 

The two sides agreed to upgrade the bilateral China-Saudi Arabia ties from the High-level Joint Committee to the prime minister’s level. President Xi also invited Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz to visit China, Saudi state TV al-Ekhbariya reported on Friday.

To boost its ties with Saudi Arabia and the larger Arab world, China will host the first China-Arab States Summit and the first China-Gulf Cooperation Council Summit next year.

Beijing said that the two summits will be of special significance and will play a "strategic role" in spearheading China-Arab relations and China-GCC relations.

President Xi gets support for deradicalisation efforts from Saudi

In a statement issued following the meeting between President Xi Jinping and Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed Bin Salman, China's ministry of foreign affairs said that Riyadh affirmed support for the "One-China principle" as well as its "measures and efforts for deradicalisation", reflecting Beijing's continued diplomatic overdrive to ward off criticism from its alleged human rights abuses against ethnic minorities in Tibet and Xinjiang. 

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Beijing said that Saudi Arabia rejected "interference in China’s internal affairs by any external forces under the excuse of human rights or any other". 

Saudi Arabia will continue to actively engage in Belt and Road cooperation with China and expand trade and two-way investment, it added. 

Xi stresses on China-Saudi multilateral cooperation

The two countries will strengthen collaboration at the United Nations, the Group of 20 and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Xi wrote in an editorial in the Saudi newspaper Al Riyadh.

Riyadh said that it appreciates China for supporting Saudi Arabia to become a dialogue partner of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and will increase communication and coordination with China on multilateral occasions such as the G20 and BRICS.

Xi and Prince Mohammed “reviewed aspects of partnership and joint coordination efforts,” the state-run Saudi Press Agency said. China's Xinhua news agency said Xi agreed to help boost Chinese tourism to the Middle Eastern nation and expand cultural links. The Chinese leader is set to meet a broader range of Arab leaders on Friday.

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